Trashprinter: Revolutionizing Large-Scale 3D Printing with Shredded Plastic

The Trashprinter is a large format 3D printer that prints directly with shredded waste plastic.  It reduces the dependency on expensive filament and utilizes waste plastic that would otherwise be thrown into the landfill. The Trashprinter was originally designed by Sam Smith, creator of the Metabolizer project. In early 2018 Darcy Neal helped Sam to get the early prototype of the Trashprinter printhead up and running by helping build and program an MPCNC designed by V1engineering. Over the course of several years, Sam has developed various prototypes of the Trashprinter and has worked up to V4 of the Trashprinter printhead, and Darcy Neal is now back at it experimenting with the V4 design to help dial in the settings, automate some cool features, and see how fast and big we can get it to print. Here you can see a series of the experiments that took place during the ongoing testing and calibration of the Trash Hackers Trashprinter.


This is an ongoing project with a long list of ideas that are being worked through.

Some points of interest are:

-Developing a custom set of GCODE commands for various print processes.

-Automating the documentation of prints in real-time so that print settings and video footage is collected every time a print is run.

-Dialing in temperature profiles, feeds, and speeds to get maximum efficiency for the fastest printing.

-Printing a collection of useful objects for community use.

-Printing a series of sculptural objects in the pursuit of a low-impact artform that repurposes waste materials vs. producing waste normally seen in the process of creating sculpture. (more to come)

Your project description of the Trashprinter is already quite detailed and informative. To refine it with a more professional and academic tone, you might consider the following revision:

The Trashprinter represents a pioneering leap in sustainable 3D printing technology. It is a large-format printer that innovatively prints using shredded waste plastic, significantly reducing reliance on costly traditional filament and addressing the critical issue of plastic waste destined for landfills. This groundbreaking concept was initially envisioned by Sam Smith, the creative mind behind the Metabolizer project. He took the concept of the Precious Plastics injection molder, redesigning it using commonly found materials to produce a lightweight and repeatable design.

In the early stages of 2018, Darcy Neal played a crucial role in bringing the Trashprinter’s initial prototype to life. Neal’s expertise in CNC systems was instrumental in the construction and programming of the CNC controlled gantry, which formed the foundation of the Trashprinter’s printhead.

Over several years, Sam Smith has iteratively developed various prototypes of the Trashprinter, refining its capabilities up to the current V4 printhead. Darcy Neal has focused on the CNC portion of the endeavor, bringing fresh perspectives to the V4 design. Their current focus lies in optimizing the printer’s settings, implementing innovative automation features, and pushing the boundaries of its printing speed and scale.

These experiments represent critical steps in a larger, dynamic project characterized by continuous evolution and a broad spectrum of goals. This ongoing journey is marked by a commitment to exploring new frontiers in 3D printing technology, pushing the envelope in terms of efficiency, functionality, and sustainability.

calibrating the movements during the initial testing phase





Trashprinter set up at its new home at Manifestation PDX.
First test prints produced on the new trashprinter build
First test prints produced on the new trashprinter build
Initial test run of the new ‘lowrider’ gantry.
Building the first test platform in 2018